Hotel Victoria’s 1934 Three Day All Expense Tour Booklet Of New York City
Accommodations, Fancy Dining, Night Clubs, Museums, A Bus Tour, Ellis Island, Top Of The Rock & More – All For $11
In the midst of the Great Depression visitors still came to New York to see the sites. If you were staying at the Hotel Victoria (7th Avenue and 51st Street) you could purchase this booklet with prepaid tickets for accommodations, entertainment and various attractions around the city.
When I acquired this booklet the most valuable tickets had been used by the previous owner. Though there is no date on the booklet. The directors of each attraction are listed, and based on that information I was able narrow the date of the booklet to 1934.
So for $11 this is what you got.
The following coupons are missing, but there is a description of them on the first two pages and it sounds great.
1934 Visitor All Inclusive Tour Coupons
Good for one night and two days at hotel. Two persons to a double room and bath. Additional charge: Single occupancy -50¢ per night. Twin-bed Rooms— 50¢ per person per night.
Good for one 45 cent breakfast in hotel dining room. May be applied as credit of 45 cents on higher priced meal.
Good for one 55 cent luncheon in hotel dining room. May be applied as credit of 55 cents on higher priced meal.
COUPON D :
Good for one 90 cent dinner in hotel dining room. May be applied as credit of 90 cents on higher priced meal. NOTE: One dinner and one luncheon coupon may be exchanged at
hospitality department for one night club coupon good for dinner, dancing and floor show at
any of the following clubs:
1. Hollywood Restaurant—1600 Broadway.
2, Paradise—49th Street and Broadway.
3. Village Barn—52 West 8th Street. (Greenwich Village).
Night Club coupon not good after 7:00 P.M. at above clubs. Slight additional charge for dinner on Saturday, Sunday, Holiday and Holiday Eve.
4. Mirador—201 West 52nd Street. Coupon good for dinner and floor show at any time without additional charge.
Good for one orchestra seat, any performance, at Radio City Music Hall, Sixth Avenue at 50th Street.
Good for any of the following attractions;
1. Personally conducted tour of National Broadcasting Company’s Studios. Tours operate continuously from 9:00 A.M. to midnight. R.C.A. Building, Sixth Avenue at 50th Street.
2. Rockefeller Center Observation Roofs. Present coupon at 65th floor R.C.A. Building, Sixth Avenue at 50th Street.
3. Admission to Planetarium at any showing. Shows at 11:00 A.M.—2 :00— 3 :00—4 :00 —8:00—9 :00 P.M. NOTE: Take elevated northbound train at Sixth Avenue and 50th Street
to 81ist Street station. Planetarium one block east. (Central Park West and 81st Street.) Desirable seats are more available at morning and afternoon showings than at night.
4. Boat ride to Statue of Liberty and return. Boat leaves Battery Park hourly from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.
5. Museum of Science and Industry, Main Floor, R.C.A. Building, 6th Avenue at 50th Street. Sixth Avenue entrance.
6. Garden of the Nations, R.C.A. Building, 6th Avenue at 50th Street.
Good for choice of ONE of following personally conducted sightseeing tour in glass-topped bus.
1. Uptown New York. Buses will call for guests of the Victoria Hotel at the Seventh Avenue (front) entrance of hotel at 10:15 A.M. and 2:15 P.M.
2. Downtown New York. Buses will call for guests at 11:45 A.M. and 3:45 P.M.
Coupons That Went Unredeemed
The unused coupons remaining in the booklet were numerous. It is interesting to read about the attractions from 87 years ago and see what remains today. Which have stayed popular?
Our first set of tickets covers admissions to museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace and Grand Central Art Galleries.
While the Natural History Museum and the Metropolitan Museum remain huge tourist magnets, the Roosevelt Birthplace is no longer a go to destination. The Grand Central Art Galleries closed in 1994.
The second set of tickets includes invites to tour 86 Trinity Place the home of The Curb Exchange Building which later became the American Stock Exchange. The building is still there, but the American Stock Exchange was acquired by the New York Stock Exchange in 2008 and the AMEX operations moved to the NYSE building.
One ticket in this group is for The Hall of Fame for Great Americans, then part of NYU’s Bronx campus and is now Bronx Community College. This is an overlooked site that few tourists visit today. The Museum of the City of New York is a wonderful institution that still gets a steady stream of visitors.
The Roerich Museum was one I was unfamiliar with. It was one of the first museums dedicated to contemporary art and founded in 1923. The 27 story Master Building housing the museum at Riverside Drive and 103rd Street was built in 1928 by financier Louis L. Horch as a mixed use building. Besides the museum on the ground floor it had a school, an auditorium, restaurant and apartments. The artist, Nicholas Roerich and his benefactor Horch had a falling out and dissolved their partnership in 1935. Roerich’s work was forced to find a new home and the museum was renamed the Riverside Museum. The Riverside Museum closed in 1971. The Nicholas Roerich Museum opened on a much smaller scale in 1949 and is currently located on 107th St. between Broadway and Riverside Drive.
The third set of tickets gets you tours of The New York Times and Daily News. Newspaper offices were fascinating places to see in full operation. Unfortunately, today, neither paper offers a tour of their facilities.
The remaining tickets in the booklet are for the US Coast Guard Base on Staten Island and Fort Jay on Governors Island. In 2001, 22 of its 172 acres were designated as the Governors Island National Monument. The federal government sold the remaining 150 acres back to New York State in 2003 for one dollar. In 2010 the state transferred the property to the city. Once again Governors Island has become a popular destination for day trippers as well as tourists.